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Pre-law internships can include full and part time opportunities in numerous settings for pre-law students and students considering legal careers. Most are open specifically to students and are not available to people who are not in school. Some offer pay, housing, and other benefits, while other interns will need to be able to support themselves. Students can access internship information through their department office as well as through online internship listings.
Some pre-law internships take place over the summer. Interns usually work full time, although other options may be available. Internships can also be taken during the school year, in which case the hours tend to be more limited to make room for class time. If an internship does not offer pay, it may be possible to apply for financial assistance in the form of a grant. Grants can help interns cover living expenses while they work.
Numerous law firms accept pre-law interns, especially if the firm is large. Students may be assigned to a specific attorney or department, or they may float between departments. These pre-law internships tend to offer excellent professional networking opportunities. The firm may provide employment opportunities after graduation and successful passage of the bar examination. Even if students decide not to work for that firm, it may provide a reference that could be useful.
Legal organizations also offer pre-law internships. These include legal aid clinics, groups that work in the legal system, and lobbying organizations. Students with an interest in topics like conservation might consider internships with conservation organizations that actively use the court system to pursue better environmental protections, for instance. Civil rights organizations also provide opportunities to pre-law interns, and these can include chances to participate in research and case development.
Other pre-law internships can include opportunities in the offices of legislators. This can be a good option for students pursuing political science and law degrees. Legislators rely on interns to perform a variety of tasks, including assisting with the development of proposals. Pre-law interns may work in a field or national office. They interact with constituents as well as other members of the legislative team to assist the legislator in her work.
It is also possible to pursue pre-law internships with judges. These can be very competitive, especially for judges who work at high levels of the judiciary system, but they can provide an excellent chance to see trials in progress and observe the trial system. Judges may also offer future employment opportunities to particularly strong interns.